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Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Specialist NYCThe tarsal tunnel is the tube-like cavity that runs beneath the bump on the interior section of your ankle. The cavity is filled with tendons, nerves, and arteries that feed your foot, enhancing you to move your foot on command and have sensations along the bottom of your foot. In other words, it’s the network that provides the elasticity and movement of your foot.

The tibial nerve is within the cable that passes through your tarsal tunnel of each foot. The tibial nerve is what’s responsible for the sensations you feel on the bottom of your foot. When this nerve gets compressed or pinched, it causes the medical condition known as tarsal tunnel syndrome, also referred to as posterior tibial neuralgia. It’s a similar condition that occurs in your wrists as carpal tunnel syndrome.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Main Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

While the condition is generally limited to active adults, podiatrists have discovered that tarsal tunnel syndrome can occur in children as well. Anything that increases pressure on the posterior tibial nerve can be a cause of tarsal tunnel syndrome. For example:

  • If you have flat feet, you’re at increased risk for developing tarsal tunnel syndrome, since the absence of a healthy arch in your foot causes your heel to tilt in a way that can induce strain and compress the tibial nerve.
  • Ankle deformities resulting from previous injuries are common causes. Scar tissue can develop and inhibit the movement within the tarsal tunnel, compressing the nerves.
  • Tenosynovitis, which refers to the inflammation of a tendon caused by repetitive movements, can also be a culprit.
  • Something abnormally large within the space of the tunnel can also cause nerve compression. So, for instance, arthritic bone spurs, exostosis, neoplasms, ganglion cysts, lipoma, swollen tendons, or varicose veins are all examples of this phenomenon.
  • Nerve compression can also result from injuries such as ankle sprains, which can produce swelling and inflammation in or around the tunnel.
  • Diabetes and osteoarthritis are examples of persistent diseases responsible for swelling that can lead to nerve compression.

Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

According to podiatry doctors, people who suffer from tarsal tunnel syndrome tend to report the following sensations most frequently:

  • Shooting pain
  • Numbness
  • Burning or tingling sensations resembling an electric current
  • Pain that radiates from the sole of your foot
  • Increased pain when your ankle is flexed upward
  • The condition gets worse at night

As observed by midtown NYC podiatrists, these symptoms are generally experienced either on the inside section of your ankle or on the bottom of your foot. In some circumstances, you may feel the pain on both your ankle and the bottom of your foot. In other cases, the pain can reach your heel, toes, arch, or even up your calf.

The symptoms may appear suddenly. Excessive pressure on your foot — which occurs in exercise, protracted standing, walking, or some new activity — can aggravate the condition and cause the symptoms to appear without warning. In reality, tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition that builds up slowly, even if it shows its symptoms suddenly.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Get Help

If any of these symptoms appear, it’s imperative that you contact a good podiatry doctor or NYC podiatrist to receive early treatment. Untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can deteriorate to the point where you suffer permanent nerve damage.

Moreover, the symptoms are common enough to be misconstrued as other conditions. A professional evaluation with a podiatrist in NYC becomes vital. Only an experienced podiatry doctor can make a proper assessment, a correct diagnosis, and an appropriate treatment plan. So, don’t suffer; get the help you need.

Diagnosis through Exams

The correct diagnosis by an experienced midtown Manhattan podiatrist is a necessary precursor to effective treatment.

Such a diagnosis by a podiatrist includes:

  • A complete clinical exam
  • Comprehensive medical history
  • Electrical tests such as a nerve conduction study or EMG
  • Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs or CT scans

During the clinical exam, a podiatry doctor has to examine the reactions of your foot to determine how much feeling remains. Your podiatrist in midtown NYC may suspend your foot in the air and test the nerves to determine if your symptoms can be replicated in an office environment. A good podiatry doctor also searches the surface of your foot visually and through pressure to discover if some sort of bump exists.

Throughout the course of the exam, the foot doctor looks for Tinel’s sign, characterized by pain radiating from the tarsal tunnel area. Tinel’s sign is one way to detect nerve irritation. The podiatrist should be able to produce this symptom after 30 seconds of constant pressure.

A podiatry doctor uses images produced by the X-rays, MRIs or CT scans to find the structural mass that represents tarsal tunnel syndrome. Your podiatrist in New York City may then decide to evaluate the accompanying nerve problems with electromyography or nerve conduction velocity prior to recommending physical therapy or other treatment.

Most Common Treatments

A myriad of non-surgical options are available to treat your tarsal tunnel syndrome. These treatments can be used in concert to relieve the pain and suffering caused by the condition. Treatments include:

  • Rest: Relieving the wear and tear on your feet prevents a worsening condition and promotes healing.
  • Ice: Reducing swelling through cold packs or ice compresses relieves pressure and encourages healing.
  • Immobilization: Restricting movement can encourage the tissues to heal.
  • Good-fitting shoes: Following your midtown podiatrist’s recommendation for a more supportive shoe always helps.
  • Orthotic devices: Wearing custom or over-the-counter shoe inserts support your arch and restrict the motion causing the nerve compression.
  • Braces: Preventing flat feet by wearing braces to relieve pressure also prevents severe nerve damage.
  • Physical therapy: Learning exercises and undergoing ultrasound therapy are common treatments to prevent or recover from tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • Injection therapy: Injecting a local anesthetic into the area can relieve your pain, and corticosteroids are helpful in curing the inflammation.

If these treatments are ineffective, your NYC podiatrist may be forced to use surgery as a last resort. If a podiatry doctor concludes that surgery is a viable option for you given your condition, opening up the tarsal tunnel to decompress the nerves is the goal. Surgery is recommended only if your pain and mobility issues aren’t resolved by the other treatments.

 

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome treatment in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.

Manhattan Foot Specialists
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 409
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 687-2930

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class podiatrist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.